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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the government-should-mind-their-own-business dept.
mattie_p writes "MIT students won a hackathon last November with a non-functioning demo of Tidbit. The concept is to replace web advertising revenue with a tiny amount of Bitcoin mining on the user's browser. Out of the blue, the students were hit by a subpoena from the New Jersey Attorney General demanding that the founders 'turn over sensitive information including source codes, hosting websites, and all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit.'

At first MIT council referred the students to legal assistance from the EFF, who quickly came to their defense. Now there is a petition going around requesting the MIT administration support the students directly. Parallels are being drawn to Aaron Swartz, possibly because one of the authors of the recent petition is Prof. Hal Ableson, although details of the two cases have very little in common.

MIT President Reif has now come out strongly in support of the students--and in favor of academic freedom from interference by government."
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by elf on Monday February 17 2014, @06:56PM

    by elf (64) on Monday February 17 2014, @06:56PM (#944)

    Isn't the average computer, mobile phone going to be wholly inadequate for this to be profitable? I'm a little skeptical but I kinda like the idea. []

    The bit coin premise is to make it harder and harder as time goes on so this process is only going to net less and less as time goes on

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:27AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:27AM (#3287)

    Indeed. This might've worked 5-10 years ago when CPUs could mine profitably and nobody was running off battery. Now it's hard to make money even with dedicated hardware stacked in a warehouse...

    Nevertheless it's an interesting concept.

    RIP Aaron.